"We are still struggling to develop adequate terms for the profound socio-cultural dislocations resulting from modern colonialism and nation-building, dislocations epitomized in the histories of indenture, transatlantic slavery, and the expulsion of indigenous peoples from ancestral lands. Of course, in addressing these dislocations, we aspire not to mythologize victimization but, rather, to better appreciate how historically disenfranchised peoples have developed inventive tactics for transforming even the most sinister experiences of dislocation into vibrant and revolutionary forms of political and cultural life. In the past fifteen years, diaspora' has emerged as a highly favoured term among scholars whom we might associate with contemporary postcolonial studies; and while there exists within the nebulous field of postcolonial studies no simple agreement on what diaspora is or does, scholars such as Paul Gilroy, Floya Anthias, Stuart Hall, Carole Boyce Davies, Rey Chow, Smaro Kamboureli, Diana Brydon, and Rinaldo Walcott all seem to share these hopes: that diaspora studies will help foreground the cultural practices of both forcefully exiled and voluntarily migrant peoples; that diaspora studies will help challenge certain calcified assumptions about ethnic, racial, and, above all, national belonging; and that diaspora studies will help forge new links between emergent critical methodologies and contemporary social justice movements."
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